Places to Visit in Kedarnath Dham, Uttarakhand

Kedarnath Dham, one of the four dhams of the Chota Char Dham circuit is now a pilgrims’ hotspot owing to the many other visits-able places of great spiritual importance around the main shrine. So once you plan your visit to Kedarnath, prepare to experience total spiritual solace.

The must-visit places of Kedarnath Dham are discussed thoroughly in the article below:

Kedarnath is an important pilgrimage destination for the Hindus, and teeming millions visit here annually. After, the devastating flood in 2013, the Kedarnath tourism received a huge blow. The entire trek-route by the side of Mandakini washed away as if it was never there. Now, the site has been renovated and the Kedarnath yatra has resumed like before. In the summer months starting from early May, when the temple opens to the general public, the devotees flock the holy site and the profound silence of the beautiful valley surrounded by scenic splendor is broken by the buzzing chants of the holy names of Lord Shiva. For Kedarnath sightseeing, there are many pilgrimage sites in close proximity to Kedarnath, which the tourists may find worth visiting.

These are as below- Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath Dham

Lord Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlings and hence is considered very powerful. It is interesting to note that during the flood everything on either side of the temple was completely erased but the temple remained intact. The devout followers call it a miracle of the Lord. There is a mythical account attached to the temple and the presiding deity Lord Kedarnath. It is believed that the actual mountain was built by the Pandavas when they wandered off in the Himalayas after the destructive war in Kurukhestra. Lord Shiva appeared as a ferocious bull in front of the Pandavas to scare them. But, Bheem being the strongest and courageous one faced with all his might and captured the tail of the bull. The bull escaped into a crevice leaving his hind part in Bheem’s hand while its head appeared in Pashupati in Nepal. The Pandavas prayed to Lord Shiva and pleased He appeared before them and granted that He will always be present here. Now, that pyramidal rock structure is worshipped by the devotees in belief that Lord keenly listens to their prayers.

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Adi Shakaracharya Samadhi

As the story goes, the present temple has been built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century AD. He was a brilliant scholar and religious reformer. He revived Hinduism by establishing four seats of study at four points of the country, established and revived the ancient temples and idols, wrote innumerable Sanskrit poems and scholarly texts in his short lifespan of 32 years. It is believed that he attained Samadhi here.

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Gaurikund

It is the very place where it is believed that Lord Kedarnath accepted the proposal to marry Parvati. He married her in Triyuginarayan, another pilgrimage site high up the mountains where it is said that the fire of the yajna still burns. Here, at Gaurikund, there is a hot water tank where every devotee must take a holy dip to absolve all his sins before going for the ‘Darshan’ of Lord Kedarnath. It was the starting point of the 14 km Yatra to Kedarnath before the Deluge in 2013. Now, the route has changed and the new route starts from Guptkashi and takes a long winding way 34 km.

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Panch Kedar

The Panch Kedar typically consists of Kedarnath, Tunganath, Rudranath, Madhyamaheshwar and Kalpeshwar. These five temples are situated high up on the upper part of the Himalayas and therefore are not only covered by snow most of the time but also have a rough perilous terrain. The slight variation of the earlier myth of Pandavas, is that while Bheem caught the bull by its tail, the bull was torn apart in five parts and fell in five different places in ‘Kedar Khand’.

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Vasuki Lake

Located east of the Chor Gamak glacier, Vasuki Tal is a glacial lake near Kedarnath. The crystal clear water of the lake holds the shadows of the high peaks surrounding it were created a marvelous sight. It is a moderate to difficult trek about 7 km upwards from Kedarnath.

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Ukhimath

It is also a renowned pilgrimage site at a height of 1311 m from sea level. During the winters, when the temples of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Panch Kedar etc are clad in deep snow, the idols are brought here in Ukhimath for regular worship and prayers.

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